Thursday, February 21, 2013

Treats & Tries

For several years now, I have wanted to and planned on entering the Neighborhood Village Baking Competition at the Florida Strawberry Festival. If you're not from around Central Florida, you probably don't know what the Strawberry Festival is - no worries! It's smiliar to a state fair, but built around strawberries and hosted in Plant City - the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World! (If you're local, you KNOW what I'm talking about!)

I've been to the Festival every year since before I can remember. I've ridden all the rides, I've seen all the displays, I've sang in the entertainment tent, I've been to concerts in the grandstand, I've covered stories and events and I've worked the information booth!

But this year, I was determined to enter something in the Baking Competition. I really have no clue what I'm up against, but every year I walk through and look at all the ribbon-winning baked goods, and I wanted to try my hand at it!

So I chose this recipe: Strawberry Shortcake Cookies. (If you read about the Strawberry Festival above, you know that the yummy Strawberry Shortcake dessert is a big deal, so I thought maybe this kind of recipe would be appropriate!)

However, I knew I couldn't just run pell-mell into things. I couldn't just throw the recipe together, drop off the cookies and hope for the best. I needed to try it out first. But, as most of you know, I have to live gluten-free due to my Celiac's Disease, so I can't even test them, much less eat them, and, although my husband LOVES cookies, I knew he wouldn't eat all of my trial batches. What to do...what to do?

After much thought, I came up with a brilliant plan: I would give my test-batch to my husband's co-workers! (They LOVE when I send them food!) Then I would also have an impartial test audience!

So I made the cookies. What do you think?

Even though you bake them on parchment paper, it was a little tricky to not let the sugar burn! (And I can't be giving judges of a baking competition burnt cookies - that just won't do.) Once I got the hang of it, they came out quite nicely!

Since it was just before Valentine's Day when I baked these, I decided to make Valentines out of them for my husband's co-workers and our neighbors. (What about MY co-workers, you say? They'll benefit from the next batch, I promise!)

So, I grabbed up some baggies from Walmart, I already had the twine, and I found these cute printables (I can't for the LIFE of me remember where I got them!!! If anyone knows, PLEASE comment and let me know, I want to include a link!) to add, and voila!

I thought they came out really cute!

The general concensus is, everyone loved them! Hopefully the judges like them, too!

So, I'll make them again on Sunday night, and turn them in on Monday morning! Exciting stuff!!!

Do you enter baked goods in competitions anywhere? What has your experience been like?

No comments:

Post a Comment